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      Rock / Metal / Alternative
      From a garage-based home studio in Columbia, South Carolina, to the roster of Columbia/FG Records, Crossfade's story is one of timeless American ingenuity intersecting with urgent youthful passion to make rock 'n roll dreams come true. Right now, a new chapter begins for this distinctive four-pie... read more
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      From a garage-based home studio in Columbia, South Carolina, to the roster of Columbia/FG Records, Crossfade's story is one of timeless American ingenuity intersecting with urgent youthful passion to make rock 'n roll dreams come true. Right now, a new chapter begins for this distinctive four-piece hard rock outfit as they stand ready to explode out of the Palmetto State with their potent 2004 self-titled debut album.

      Featuring ten original tracks, the tightly constructed and aurally dense Crossfade was produced by the band, with post-production wizardry courtesy of Randy Staub, whose credits include Nickelback, P.O.D., The Cult, Monster Magnet, and Metallica, among others. Crossfade's signature sound is both fierce and melodic -- heavy and muscular hard rock infused with deeply felt lyrics, all surging under Ed Sloan's agile, driven and superbly clear lead vocals. The album's lead single, "Cold," was a hit at Active Rock radio in early '04, with Radio & Records describing it as a track that, "gives an overall feeling of foreboding, a feat accomplished through the band's standout vocals. The lead singer soars over the top of a bottom-heavy instrumental, and the harmony is impressive and unique."

      Every one of the members of Crossfade remembers being profoundly moved by music early on in their lives, and starting to make it themselves at a very young age. They first began pooling their considerable talents in the late '90s when Ed Sloan left his first band, Darkchilde, and hooked up with Mitch James (bass, vocals) and original Crossfade drummer Brian Geiger to form The Nothing, a power trio described as "a kind of heavy metal Wrathchild/Metallica take-off." For James, it allowed him to live out the world-rocking experience he'd had at a David Lee Roth concert when he was a boy -- "Billy Sheehan ripped into his four-stringed instrument and made it grind, whine and sputter like a Harley -- after that, I was forever sold on the bass." They honed their live chops and songwriting both in Atlanta -- where The Nothing migrated for a time -- and around their Columbia home turf, where Ed began building a studio in his brick-solid, sound-proofed garage.

      At the same time, The Nothing morphed into something quite new -- the renamed Sugardaddy Superstar -- and the house of sound that Sloan built was dubbed the Sugarstar Studio. Within its cavernous confines, the four began creating the songs and recording the tracks that would ultimately evolve into the sonic force of Crossfade. "Sugarstar was a huge asset. It gave us complete control over our environment," says Sloan, "and allowed us to experiment in ways that, in a commercial studio, would have been impossible because of time and cost limitations."

      While building their base in South Carolina, Sugardaddy Superstar also enlisted the renowned Los Angeles-based independent A&R company Taxi to help them develop their material. Through the Taxi affiliation, the band met veteran L.A. promoter Chris "Hot Rod" Long (Rage Against The Machine, Stone Temple Pilots), who quickly signed on as their manager. In late 2001, Sugardaddy Superstar was one of just three acts invited -- out of 8,000 member artists -- to play before thousands at Taxi's annual "Road Rally" music convention.

      Word-of-mouth built to a roaring buzz after a rousing industry showcase in Los Angeles, motivating the band to return to Sugarstar, where they re-mixed eight of the ten intense tracks that now make up their Columbia/FG debut. FG A&R exec Doug Ford -- who had been following the rising rockers for over a year -- heard the album demo, originally titled Cold, and masterminded their signing to the label in early 2003.

      Rechristened as Crossfade, the four longtime collaborators added two songs to the track list, worked on finishing touches with Staub, and saw little else altered on the fruits of their labors as it became the Columbia/FG release Crossfade. All the inspired experimentation that Crossfade injected into the making of the album remained, adding to its dynamic energy and independent spirit -- "None of us are really studio engineers," they explain, "we're just a band with some cool equipment." And now, a very cool sounding record. In 2004, James Branham replaced original drummer Brian Geiger.

      "The music on this album is very personal to me," says Sloan. "I can listen and feel the strong emotions that were the catalysts for a lot of the songs. I hope that listeners will be able to hear our music and make it their own, much in the same way that I connected with bands like Metallica, and other artists who really put a lot of actual feelings and meaning into their music and lyrics." While Crossfade's writing process often begins with Sloan fleshing out the basic structure on guitar, kicking around lyrics and melody lines, he says, "When we all get together and start to forge the song as a band, through, that's when it really takes off. Mitch is a phenomenal bass player, and manages to breathe energy into everything he touches. Tony will just start throwing out vocal ideas and great samples he creates on the pads, and they never fail to add a dimension and depth that wasn't there before."

      From the first machine-gun chords of the blazing disc opener "Starless" through the last spiraling strains of its hypnotic acoustic closer, "The Unknown," Crossfade's auspicious self-titled debut charts the first leg of the band's journey to points afar in the great musical unknown. What is known, though, says Mitch James, "is that this is what we were destined to do." The commitment, integrity, ambition and artistry that so far has taken them from garage band to major label artist status promises that the fulfillment of that destiny will unleash one wild and uncompromising ride.

      Categories: Music | Alternative | Rock

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